My buddies and I stroll into Horseshoe Casino in Hammond on Christmas morning around 3a.m. Its our first annual tradition. No, I’m joking; we usually hit up the boat after Christmas Eve dinner. We were only there about 3 hours, I played the 1/2 no limit hold’em, and bought in for $200. I quickly lost. I got into a situation where I was supposed to win, but simply lost.
***The next few paragraphs might not make much sense unless you play poker. Try to understand them, but it’s not necessary if you don’t.***
Within 10 minutes of starting my session, I look down at A5 of hearts (h) in early position six-handed. I open the action to $6. Middle position, dealer, small blind and big blind calls. We go to the flop with $30. Flop is 10h Qh 6c. Small blind and big blind checks, I bet $15, middle position folds, button calls, the blinds fold. $60 in pot, and turn is a Jh. I complete my Ace high flush, and I’m focused on how to get max value from my presumed nut hand. I think I bet $35, button calls. $130 in pot and river is a blank. I check, button bets $35, I raise to $70, he pushes all-in, I snap and he shows Kh-9h for the straight flush. Out of the remaining 47 cards in the deck, he needed one card and one card only to stack me. He hit it, and I lost $200.
In similar situations where we both make strong flushes on the turn, I will win $200 6 out of 7 times for a revenue of $1,200. 1 of the 7 times I’m beat and will lose $200. Overall, that’s a net profit of $1,000 for me. Still, it hurts when you lose.
***End of poker talk***
Point is, life is not always fair. You could be ahead, you mathematically should win, but you don’t. You work hard, wait for the perfect spots, people make mistakes, they outdraw you, and you lose.
Nonetheless, if you play to the best of your ability, you will come up on top in the long run. The poker gods give, and the poker gods take. We go through peaks and valleys, trials and errors, highs and lows. You just have to take your bad beats, keep your head high and just keep swimming.
I think the worst thing you can do in poker, and life in general, is quit when you’re down. Everyone gets down; losing and being in the gutter is just a mathematical and universal truth. But, if you stay down, you will never be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
So thank you poker for teaching me to always do my best. Through the statistics of the game, I’ve learned to better comprehend the timeless truth, “always do your best and things will work out.”